Watch Me

June 6, 2014 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, One Particular Angel, Sweet sticky things)

watch ironmanI’ve always been a creature of habit. When I find something that works, I stick with it. This can lead to ruts. I dislike ruts. This year has been a season of change. A LOT has changed. But, as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This is the story of my 99-cent Ironman watch, and how it’s on its third life…

Back in about 1992, when I worked on 82nd and NE Sandy Boulevard, I bought a dollar-store watch. A simple throwaway, something I could bang around at work and not worry about. Simple, functional. A few days later, a young man walked in. He was staring at his watch, perplexed. “Do you know what time it is?”

I told him.

“That watch works? Want to trade? I hate this fuckin’ thing.” He offered me the first incarnation, a black Timex Ironman. For a dollar? Sure. If nothing else, I can always buy another dollar-store watch.

We swapped, he left joyous that he knew it was 3:32 PM, and after about ten minutes I’d cracked the set-your-watch code. WIN!

A year of so later, the Ironman was holding up, and my sister found a gray, sporty Timex Ironman while delivering newspapers. I talked her into trading, and I wore that watch until about ten years ago, when it died. I went to Freddy’s and promptly replaced it. That watch barely left my wrist until around Xmas.

Old IronmanAfter ten years, time had taken its toll. The buttons had snapped off, one by one. When the faceplate fell off, and time and date could only be set by paper clip, I gave up.

About this time, I’d begun seeing Angel again. My grumbling about watches led her to surprise me, with a kiss and a gift-wrapped box. I was speechless, and almost puddled up in front of her. I am not used to being spoiled. To say I was blown away is an understatement.

About that time, I had a run-in with the first assaulter. Between that and a shift-change to graveyard, I felt uneasy wearing my new watch. While Rain went to great pains to tell me how inexpensive my gift watch was, (not) I didn’t care. It was a gift from Angel, a gift of magnitude that of which I was not used to. It was my “Pulp Fiction” watch. I’d have to go back across town for that.

watchI love Angel’s watch, and will keep it forever. Like most keepsakes, I put it on display in my room, until that day in which it is needed. Dates, weddings and funerals. Hopefully just dates. I received many compliments when I wore it, but it sticks out when I wear my day-to-day Chewbacca-style outfit. So I bought a ten-dollar Rite-Aid watch.

I don’t mind my ten-dollar Rite Aid watch. It tells me what time it is. But the day-of-the-week icon is a button, and I have to stare and think to remember what day it is. With Ironman, I could look at the faceplate and see it’s WE JUN 6. When you work shifts where days change mid-shift, it can be invaluable to know what fucking day it is.

A couple weeks ago, Festus, a local at the Nightclub Store who hangs around, helping bust shoplifters and peek at porno, mentioned he’d found a watch in the community room of his hotel. The battery was dead, but it looked okay otherwise. He gave it to me.

Steel Rod to the rescue! A watch battery cost $14 last time I had one changed. I’d offer him $20 and ask nicely if he’d switch watchbands for me? I had a tip planned as well…

When I asked if Steel Rod took credit cards, he scoffed, “Why? Just bring me the fucking watch.”

Um, okay.

I dropped them off, old and new. I got a text from Dr T on my off-day, stating “Time has come today…TIME!” I took a late-night run to the store. After a small Easter egg hunt, I found where Festus and Dr T had hidden them. I checked to make sure the alarm was off. It was, though Steel Rod had joked about setting it. (Sorry Rod, I always check the settings on phones, watches, etc…) He was off by a day, and the time was thirty seconds too slow, but other than that I couldn’t bitch too much about another free watch.

The exact fucking watch I almost bought for $54 at Xmastime.

Thanks to Festus and Steel Rod for making me feel complete again. I now know what day of the week it is, and how much flex-time I have between Transit Tracker and real time. I like the cloth band that doesn’t leave a mark after muggy days.

I chased Steel Rod down before work yesterday, and passed him a day-glo test tube. “Is this from your ‘farmacy’?” he asked.

“Yup. It would have been right neighborly to bring you blackberry pie with whipped cream on top, but I was out, so you’ll have to settle for blackberry kush with keif on top. Mmmkay?” I handed him a joint the size of a ball-point pen.

“Mmmkay,” said Steel Rod in his best Mr Mackey voice.

So, now that we got the watch covered, I guess it’s time to tell you about some of the other small changes going on…

1 Comment

  1. Jeff said,

    Speaking about time…..I will be in “Stump Town” in October, however I will be stopping in Denver for a few day’s of R&R.

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